The Unthinkable: Is a US-China War Possible? US War Ships in the South China Sea. A New Era of “Great Power Competition”

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The US is waging undeclared war on China by other means — aiming to undermine its growing prominence on the world stage.

Pompeo falsely calling China’s new national security law “an affront to all nations,” his endless war of words on the country, Trump’s FCC designation of Chinese tech giants Huawei and ZTE as “national security threats,” and other hostile US actions against Beijing are a prescription for continued deterioration of bilateral relations or something worse — possible direct confrontation ahead.

Earlier this year, Trump regime war secretary Esper threatened China, saying:

The US is engaged in a new “era of ‘great power competition,’ and that means we need to focus more on high intensity warfare going forward.”

Indicating that greater numbers of US forces will be deployed in the Asia/Pacific, he said Washington’s “longterm challenges are China No. 1 and Russia No. 2,” adding:

“(W)hat we see happening out there is a China that continues to grow its military strength, its economic power, its commercial activity, and it’s doing so, in many ways, illicitly (sic) — or it’s using the international rules-based order against us to continue this growth, to acquire technology, and to do the things that really undermine our sovereignty (sic), that undermine the rule of law (sic), that really question (its) commitment to human rights (sic).”

Omitted from his remarks was that China, Russia, and other nations on the US target list for regime change pursue world peace, stability, and cooperative relations with other countries, confrontation with none.

Their aims are polar opposite how the US operates, seeking dominance over other nations by pressure, bullying, or brute force.

It’s waging permanent wars on targeted countries by hot and/or other means.

The latter rages against China, risking things turning hot by accident or design.

What’s unthinkable between two nuclear powers is possible, a frightening prospect for what could lie ahead.

Ramping up US military forces in the Asia/Pacific to “compete with China” is a euphemism for escalating cold war that could turn hot.

In January 2019, Chinese President Xi Jinping said

“(a)ll military units must correctly understand major national security and development trends, and strengthen their sense of unexpected hardship, crisis and battle,” adding:

“The world is facing a period of major changes never seen in a century, and China is still in an important period of strategic opportunity for development.”

Xi ordered stepped up military training and exercises, saying China’s armed forces must “prepare for a comprehensive military struggle from a new starting point”, adding:

“Preparation for war and combat must be deepened to ensure an efficient response in times of emergency.”

The threat to China’s national security from the US is ominously real.

Provocations by Washington could escalate to something more serious.

On July 3, Trump regime Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy director Peter Navarro falsely claimed the following:

“I want everybody right here today, as the day before America’s Independence Day, to understand where this virus started — with the Chinese Communist Party that is making us stay locked in our homes and lose our jobs (sic).”

“They spawned the virus (sic). They hid the virus (sic). They sent hundreds of thousands of Chinese nationals over here to seed and spread the virus (sic),” adding:

“While they were preventing any domestic travel from Wuhan to Beijing or Shanghai, locking down their transportation network, they freely sent hundreds of thousands of Chinese nationals on aircraft to go around the world” to spread the virus (sic).”

Not a shred of evidence backs Navarro’s outrageous claim.

Polar opposite it true. China helped and continues to help scores of nations combat COVID-19 outbreaks, including by supplying personal protective equipment (PPE).

A previous article suggested that the SARS-Cov-2 virus is a made-in-the-USA bioweapon.

In all its preemptive wars on nations threatening no one, the US uses chemical, biological, radiological, and other banned weapons.

In March, Pompeo called COVID-19 “a live (military) exercise.”

Was it a Freudian slip or a damning revelation? Trump reportedly responded to his remark, saying:

“I wish you would have told us.”

The Trump regime’s misnamed “Wuhan virus” most likely originated in a US biolab, Fort Detrick, MD the likely facility.

Evidence shows that the SARS-Cov-2 virus that produces COVID-19 disease originated in the US last summer.

It showed up in Europe before reported outbreaks in China last December.

US stoked tensions with China are at a fever pitch.

In late June, National Institute for South China Sea Studies president Wu Shicun said Sino/US distrust led to hundreds of “track one” intergovernmental communication channels shutting down.

A separate report indicated that communications between the Pentagon and China’s military declined markedly since 2018.

Wu noted that “the risks of conflict are rising, especially after the near-collision between the USS Decatur guided-missile destroyer and China’s destroyer the Lanzhou in September (2018) in the South China Sea.”

At the time, Beijing blamed the US for what it called “provocative actions.”

Deteriorating bilateral relations continue, mutual distrust increasing.

US South China Sea military exercises close to its waters are highly provocative.

The presence of US forces in parts of the world not its own heighten tensions.

In the South China Sea, they risk confrontation between two nuclear powers.

A breakdown in Sino/US communications increases the danger.

For the first time since the pre-1990 Cold War ended, three US carrier groups are patrolling Asia/Pacific waters.

The US Pacific Fleet said its forward-deployed submarines are conducting operations in the Western Pacific.

On Saturday, the Wall Street Journal reported that USS aircraft carriers Reagan and Nimitz, along with four other US warships, are holding “some of the (Pentagon’s) largest exercises in recent years in the South China Sea,” beginning July 4.

Citing US officials, their purpose is “to challenge what they called Beijing’s unlawful territorial claims (sic).”

It’s the first time since 2014 that two US carriers and other warships conducted South China Sea drills close to Chinese waters.

USS Ronald Reagan strike-force commander Admiral George Wikoff said the following:

“We’re really operating at a higher tempo and simulating a higher end of combat power than we would typically do in a shorter length exercise,” adding:

“We’re flying around the clock, hundreds of sorties a day in a 24-hour period.”

Reportedly Chinese military officials haven’t met with their US Indo/Pacific Command counterparts since 2017.

While it’s unclear where things are heading, the risk of a clash between two nuclear super-powers is ominously real.

Instead of stepping back from the brink in the Asia/Pacific, the US continues to heighten tensions — risking confrontation with a nation able to hit back hard if attacked.

A Final Comment

Addressing the issue of whether Sino/US trade ties can avert hot war last May, China’s Global Times said the following:

“(I)n light of relentless hostility from Washington, there is…a sobering realization among many in China that the bilateral relationship with the US has reached a point of no return from which rivalry and confrontation will overtake constructive engagement as the US’ desperation to cling onto its remaining global strength and influence will only intensify with the rapid rise of China.”

Whether this causes continued political, economic, technological, and trade rivalry alone or heads toward military confrontation ahead remains unknown.


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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

Visit his blog site at

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Articles by: Stephen Lendman

About the author:

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." Visit his blog site at Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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